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I have a huge problem with my mother-in-law, which is complicated by the fact that she’s been a partner in the family business since her husband died two years ago.
She’s never warmed to me and I’ve had to endure many family events where she talks endlessly about my husband’s ex-wife in glowing terms.
She was devastated when they divorced and still gets together with his ex socially. My husband and his ex have a son together and my mother-in-law lives for him, yet pays barely any attention to our daughter, who’s four.
I also hate the fact that she has such a big say over our work and financial situation, and my husband never stands up to her because he doesn’t want to “rock the boat”.
The final straw for me was when she announced she was taking his ex and her grandson on an all expenses-paid trip to Dubai in the New Year.
She’s never once offered to do anything like that for us, even though I wouldn’t want to spend two weeks abroad with her if I’m honest.
I’m convinced she’s doing all this just to annoy me and it’s working! How can I feel better about things?
Stop caring so much about the relationship between your mother-in-law and your husband’s ex. Yes, it’s annoying but, as you say, you don’t want to spend two weeks on holiday with her anyway.
And if she is doing certain things to irritate you, then don’t get dragged in – be secure in the relationship you have with your husband and don’t feel threatened.
Your mother-in-law’s situation is tricky because her grandson is involved and perhaps she’s worried about not maintaining a good relationship with his mum in case it affects how much she gets to see him. She’s perhaps also paying more attention to him because he’s not living with his father, while your daughter has her dad 24/7.
If you have a moment when you’re talking and getting on well, why not just drop into conversation how you feel about the situation? You don’t have to start a row but just say that sometimes you feel you’re not accepted in the same way as your husband’s ex.
As for the work and financial side of things, it’s up to your husband as a partner in the business to bring it up with his mum.
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